It can be tough sometimes to get motivated again after a break. Which of course can have an impact on your customers’ experience and ultimately your entire business. So here are 7 tips to help focus on getting your team motivated and engaged again once they return to work.
1. Behaviour breeds behaviour
It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy, which if we think it’s going to be tough getting back into the swing of things the chances are it will be. Not just for you, but for your team as well.
The way we feel emotionally will influence the feelings of people around us. In other words if we mooch around all day resenting coming back to work after our fantastic holiday or quality time with the kids we’re far more likely to elicit negative emotions, than if we’re smiling, laughing and generally being positive about being back at work.
Being confident, enthusiastic and energetic might not always rub off on everyone else, but it’s a better bet than if you’re down and moping about resenting being back.
2. Celebrate and share successes
For many businesses the end of September marks the half-way point in their financial year, so what better time to review progress.
Update your team on your achievements for the past 6 months. What milestones have you achieved as a business, what have been the highlights of the year to date, and what’s been the team contribution to these? Give praise where it’s due that will create a buzz for the remainder of year ahead!
3. Set mini goals
It can often feel as if you’re not achieving much in the first few days or weeks back at work. So consider allocating some specific short term projects or goals that everyone can get stuck in to and for which they can see some results within the first few days back.
Even better if you can make these customer service related. It will certainly help focus attention back onto the job in hand, and get everyone back into full flow as quickly as possible.
4. Take stock
If you’ve a quiet spell before business ramps up use this as an opportunity to take stock. When people have been away from the business for even a couple of days they can often see things in a new light and spot opportunities for improvement your service, to add value or make recommendations to customers.
What ideas have your team seen on their holidays or days out which they’ve appreciated and which could be applied in some way in your business?
Review your entire customer journey and all the various touch points your customers experience. Customer Service is continually evolving, and there will always be little tweaks you can make to improve your service.
5. Keep informed
Time off often gives people time for reflection and can prompt them to start thinking about other options, career moves or even career changes. Keep your team up to date with what’s happening in your business so they feel involved and quash any feelings of insecurity.
Update them on your plans for the remainder of the year ahead. Share up-to-date product knowledge, what’s happening in your industry, with your competitors, or anything in the press. A knowledgeable team not only gives them confidence, it enables them to make decisions and help build trust with your customers.
6. Personal development
The new school year is a good time to review the team’s development needs.
Not everyone wants to progress, but that doesn’t mean to say they don’t want to be stretched or given opportunities for new challenges. Add variety so they don’t become stagnant; a bored employee is unlikely to wow your customers! Identify and utilise people’s strengths, providing further development when needed to bring out the best in these areas.
Delegate and give some control and ownership for specific areas. This gives them pride in what they do and they will appreciate you’ve recognised where they do a good job, providing of course you’re careful not to overburden or just dump these tasks on them.
Give the team something positive to focus attention by aiming for an award, competition or simply an internal league table. It can be great motivation for those with a competitive spirit.
For internal reward this might mean focusing on a different theme each month so that everyone has the opportunity to recognise their particular skills and strengths.
External awards are a great way to give focus and recognition for the whole team. Keep your eye out for awards which are relevant to your business or your market. Just being nominated for an award is a great booster it itself.